Rangers probe claims that Mike Ashley now owns the club’s famous badge

PROBE ... Mike Ashley, right.
PROBE ... Mike Ashley, right.

RANGERS have promised to probe claims Mike Ashley has grabbed control of the club’s badges.

Reports emerged on social media on yesterday suggesting the Newcastle United owner was now the official owner of the Light Blues trademarks – including the “Ready” badge and mascot Broxi Bear.

The Sports Direct tycoon had been given security over the icons and logos as part of the £5m loan handed to the previous Gers board in January.

But now Dave King’s new regime have promised a speedy investigation after documents appeared on the government-run Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website showing the club’s trademarks were now controlled by SportsDirect.com Retail Ltd.

In a statement a club spokesman said: “The board is currently conducting a review of all contractual documentation, but this particular issue has become a matter of urgency.”

News that Ashley has seized hold of more treasured assets will worry the Ibrox faithful.

Ashley is already vastly unpopular after grabbing hold of a 75 per cent share of the club’s retail income with his loan deal.

The IPO site confirm the transfer from Rangers Football Club Ltd to Sports Direct was fully assigned on March 25 – less than three weeks after former chief executive and Ashley ally Derek Llambias and finance director Barry Leach, a former Sports Direct executive, were removed at a general meeting called by King.

Yet Interim chairman Paul Murray announced two days later that the new board had held “no discussions with Mike Ashley or Sports Direct”.

Rangers announced last week that if they gain promotion to the Premiership, they will have to pay Newcastle £500,000 as part of the deal which saw five Magpies youngsters move to Ibrox on loan.